Ambleside Online Year 7: plans & modifications



Whenever I start planning a new year of home education I’m reminded again of the fact that each of my children are unique and what might have been good for one may not be the right choice for another at the same age. So just when I thought I should have all this figured out the seventh time around, I’ve been mulling over a few niggling thoughts I’ve had about Moozle’s Year 7 content, trying to discern what is best for this girl of mine:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,  so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,  filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11

We’re going into Week 4 tomorrow and I wanted to wait for a few weeks before I posted what we’ll be doing to see how my ideas work out in practice. I’ve made a few adjustments for different reasons, which I’ll explain as I go, while still keeping to the basic structure of Ambleside Online Year 7 (because Years 7 & 8 are two of my favourite AO years!)
The main changes are:

Devotional Reading

I’ve used the first two books on the AO schedule for this year with Moozle’s older siblings but the more I thought and prayed about what I should be doing, the more I’ve felt sure that what she needs at the moment lies in the way of story. It’s not so much that the books are challenging – she’s an advanced reader – but it’s the spiritual aspects and the ‘didactic’ approach that I don’t think she’s ready for. Biographies, on the other hand, I know she will relate to. These are the books we’ll be using instead – the first two (set in India & China respectively) serve the double purpose of devotional reading and books set in Asia/Pacific, which I cover because of their proximity to Australia and our connections with people from that area. (I’ve linked to reviews I’ve written on some of them):


* Ten Fingers for God by Dorothy Wilson

** The Small Woman by Alan Burgess

*** The Root of the Righteous by A.W. Tozer – now this isn’t a biography but I’ve included this in third term as an introduction to the devotional book scene because its a book I love and Tozer uses the analogy of the tree and its fruit so the book has the feel of a parable.




We’ll be doing the AO scheduled readings (scroll down the page) except for The Magna Carta. Instead I’ll schedule the book below over a few weeks because I have it & it’s good. (181 pages)



Science & Natural History

We won’t be doing First Studies of Plant Life or Adventures with a Microscope and will be substituting a couple of Australian titles:

A Bush Calendar by Amy Mack
First Studies in Plant Life by William Gillies. This is different to the one mentioned above (both the Aussie titles are free online)


We’re also doing Apologia’s Anatomy & Physiology and using some of these free resources I put together a couple of years ago for her brother. I usually do this in Year 6 but I didn’t want Moozle to miss out on the excellent Science selections scheduled in that year. I’ll be cutting out some of the activities in the Apologia book, I think.


Fine Arts

We’ll be using the books pictured below for Music & Architecture in addition to our regular composer & picture study.

The Gift of Music by Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson – I’m reading this aloud & this term we’ll just be covering a few Baroque composers.

Cathedral by David Macaulay

String, Straight Edge, & Shadow by Julia E. Diggins – scroll down to see an overview of the book on the link. This is really the story of geometry but it dovetails nicely with the study of architecture and helps the reader to appreciate the significance of the Golden Mean in art and architecture…


Architecture by Gladys Wynne – I’d heard about this book but it’s out of print and I really didn’t know how useful it would be until one of the lovely ladies on the AO Forum posted a link to Archives and I had a chance to view it before I bought it from Amazon in the UK.






Julius Caesar 
Richard the Third


We’re still reading the Life of Julius Caesar and have three more weeks left until we finish. We’ll have a break before we start another life and just concentrate on Shakespeare for awhile.


French & Latin

We’re continuing with French for Children B and there’s quite a bit of grammar included so our English grammar study is taking a back seat for the time being.
We’re still slowly going through Our Roman Roots by James R. Leek.

The Harp & Laurel Wreath by Laura M. Berquist is one of my favourite poetry anthologies and I take turns reading aloud this and the one in the picture above aloud.



26 thoughts on “Ambleside Online Year 7: plans & modifications

  1. I learn best anecdotally, too. If it's a story I'm a dozen times more likely to learn and love the concept than if it is taught with a didactic approach. I wish Moozle well with her studies. It looks like such an interesting year. I can see why it is a favorite. :)And I'm using your weekly scheduling system for my Nature Angel and Little Princess this year. It's the best one I've ever seen.


  2. I'm dropping my daughter off at college next week and am no longer a homeschooling mom. Boo hoo! Your post has made me miss it already. But I'll be able to pop over here now and then and get my homeschooling fix! It's great to read about your plans — how exciting! 🙂


  3. End of an era!! I really miss not having my older ones around during the day but I do enjoy the conversations we have when they're home & checking out what books my next one up is using for uni.


  4. I am using the same Apologia Science book with my children this year and I am finding it slow going. We are four weeks in and I am still inside the cell! I even missed all the wonderful history of anatomy stuff at the start which was a hard decision to make. They really enjoy it, though.


  5. Always love perusing through your school book selections. Thank you for the links to a couple of those books. I appreciate you saving me the time on those. We are currently on week 30 – so the end is almost in sight. And then – yes, another year, so my planning is still coming together.


  6. When I first looked at those years I thought \”No way.\” I knew that many of the set books were used in uni/college level courses. I had a 17 yr old at the time who had struggled with reading & I took the plunge and started him and his 15 yr old brother in AO Year 8. It was the making of him in many ways as he rose to the challenge so there is that personal aspect. Another is the subject matter – early British history from which so much of what we value and is now being eroded sprang from. There is so much in Yrs 7 & 8 that I missed myself as I was growing up and I've appreciated learning alongside my kids. They're the main reasons, I think, Heather.


  7. This post reminds me that I should be going through the stack of books for my son's school year and writing assignments on his schedule for this coming week when school starts ( . . .instead of reading lovely book reviews from the semi-colon blog). Guilty mum!


  8. Thanks for sharing your plan Carol. I can't wait to watch it unfold throughout the year. We are also using AO7, but for the first time. I have also modified some things. Namely history, because we love Beautiful Feet so much, our dd will be sticking with their Medieval History guide, which covers the same time period and uses similar books, including the Magna Charta book by Daugherty that you mentioned. Our ds will also be using some of AO7, though due to dyslexia, I've swapped out some books for him or will be reading them aloud. I'm so thankful for AO and homeschooling in that we are able to use them to serve each of our children in a unique way. Best of luck…


  9. Hi Deborah, I’ve done AO Year 8 with three of the boys & made some minor changes. See if these posts help. I’ll see if I can find a weekly schedule to give you an idea of what we changed.


  10. Thanks so much! Planning Year 7 so I can buy books before July 1st 2018 when Amazon US stops shipping to us and Book Depository charges 10% extra!


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